Facebook’s ex-CTO and creator of the Like button Bret Taylor has just explained why there will probably never be a “Dislike” button — despite many calls from users for one.
Speaking to Tech Radar UK, Taylor — who left Facebook in 2012 to co-found mobile productivity suite Quip — explained that a Dislike button would draw too much unwanted negativity to Facebook. While some people might use it to express sympathy, for example, it could also encourage cyber bullying, something the site often comes under criticism for.
“[The Dislike button] came up a lot. In fact, even the language of the word “Like” was something we discussed a lot as well. But regarding the Dislike button, the main reason is that in the context of the social network, the negativity of that button has a lot of unfortunate consequences.”
Taylor goes on to explain that the Like button was created for times when users wanted to acknowledge something someone did, but didn’t really have anything to say. It isn’t just a sentiment of actually “liking” something, in other words, but rather a replacement for a short comment like “wow” or “cool.”
But he thinks a Dislike button wouldn’t work in the same way:
“I have a feeling that if there were to be a ‘Dislike’ button…you would end up with these really negative social aspects to it. If you want to dislike something, you should probably write a comment, because there’s probably a word for what you want to say.”
The Tech Radar article also posits that a “Dislike” button wouldn’t be as useful as the “Like” for Facebook to serve targeted advertising. And of course, users can already let Facebook and brands know if they dislike adverts on the site by answering a short survey if they choose to hide specific ads or advertisers from their News Feeds.